"Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the
head, the heart and the senses." - Lao Tzu
The hormone Oxytocin
has been lovingly referred to as the 'cuddle hormone',
'feel-good chemical' or the 'love drug,'
due to its several magnificent qualities.
But sadly this nature's wonder has been dragged into the
limelight for dubious reasons.
familial occupation in the backward villages of Sodavas and Girvas
located in the Alwar region of Rajasthan in north- west India ; therefore, it
is very common for most women here to
be engaged in the ancient trade.
But it began to be brought to public attention that hundreds
of little girls, even as young as 6
months to ten years, are being regularly kidnapped
from across the length and breadth of India to be brought to these villages, and forced to 'grow up
quickly' so that they may enter the 'traditional trade' of the region and rope
in the moolah.
These children are given unregulated doses of the hormone
Oxytocin by the villagers to hasten sexual maturity
so that they can be
pushed into prostitution in Mumbai or sent to the Gulf, at the earliest.
These girls are injected with veterinary oxytocin
hormone variant is more potent than that meant for humans. Besides, veterinary
oxytocin is also readily available over the counter under the code name of 'Goli number 10
.' It must be noted that
the villagers in this region do not indulge in cattle farming or agriculture to
warrant the presence of these drugs at the chemists shop!
When injected with this drug, pre-
teens 'blossom' and begin to resemble
. They also become trusting and more sexually charged - traits that
are essential for their compliance.
In the male-dominated regions of rural
Rajasthan, cursed with a skewed male-female ratio, women fare poorly. However
in Girvas and Sodovas there are women everywhere! Apparently, girls here are
well nurtured because they are the money
Oxytocin has long been used by dishonest milkmen to boost milk yield in cows
and buffaloes and also by farmers who inject it into vegetables to make them
grow faster and bigger.
More on the Love drug
Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone secreted by the hypothalamus
of the brain. It is also secreted by tissues of the ovaries and testes and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It brings about hormonal changes
and the responses to the hormone is markedly increased in women than in men.
Traditionally Oxytocin prepares a woman for childbirth and breast feeding
Oxytocin facilitates the release of dopamine, which is responsible for a feeling of wellness, excitement, and bonding. The levels of oxytocin surge stupendously during acts of intimacy and orgasm,
paving way for adult emotional bonding. The hormone is believed to have
evolved as a tool to reduce stress and fear of another person in order to facilitate contact and procreation
Oxytocin evidently plays a vital
role in bonding not just in humans but in animals too. Although the intricate
biochemical reactions need to be clearly elucidated, it is clear that oxytocin interacts with other hormones
associated with pleasure and social behavior to bring about its final effect.
Various studies have effectively
contributed to the growing list of oxytocin benefits. It has been understood
that this wonderful hormone promotes positive qualities such as empathy and generosity
emotional bonding in close relationships.
Researchers in the UK and Germany
have discovered that when oxytocin is administered to men in the form of a nasal spray
they become more empathetic
and caring—traits usually associated with women. This is probably what women
have been waiting for eons -to instill sensitivity in uncaring partners!
Research has also shown that oxytocin contributes to social memory
and helps us to initiate
and establish a preference for people we like, by remembering their faces, and
differentiating them from those we dislike.
The hormone is known to promote bonding between mothers and
. However no research has revealed that it helps to make the
mothers that much more endearing to their offspring.
Scientists speculate that the "love hormone" may play a
significant role in the higher levels of depression and interpersonal stress
commonly observed in women, who are
twice as often affected as men.
It is hoped that future research will throw more light on the effect of oxytocin on human psychiatry
and whether it plays a role in controlling emotional and sexual behavior.
High, unregulated doses of
Oxytocin has several side effects on the
. It causes hormonal changes, affects the centre nervous system and can
Needless to say, such unscrupulous
acts, as mentioned above, will have devastating psychological
on the victims.
It is indeed a pity that the cuddle chemical, which helped
women to build familial bonds, has been put to use in this loathsome manner, to
disrupt families and scar women
Lets hope that the powers that be, which are currently
in a denial mode, wake up before the face of India is further tarnished and
more damage is done!
Dr Reeja Tharu/S